Hey. I have an idea. Let’s load up the kids and move to Italy.
Let’s call the kids The Boy and The Girl. (8 and 10 respectively. Feet tall. They’re very large kids.) Maybe we’ll do names later. I don’t know. For now let’s give them some anonymity. That way they don’t have to be real kids. They can be ur kids. Meta kids. But just as annoying as my real kids.
Let’s load up the dogs, too. I can use their real names: Goofy and Pugs. Goofy is a 100 pound, blond Labrador Retriever. He’s sweet and profoundly stupid. And he eats poop. He used to eat furniture, but he’s calmed down a bit over the years, and now merely enjoys the occasional turd. It’s not an attractive habit, but he is a dog, after all, and no one’s suggesting you date him.
And then, there’s Pugs. Ah, what can I say about Pugs that hasn’t already been said about the Ebola virus?
I kid the pug. He knows I don’t pray for his death. Because he knows I’m not religious. If I were then absolutely, I’d be on my knees right now praying for his sudden death. Maybe he could be raptured. Maybe God needs a howling, yapping, hysterical, snorting, snoring, goggle-eyed dog. Maybe the Lord would enjoy the company of an overstuffed sausage on four skittering legs, an asthmatic genetic mutant who pisses on every vertical surface taller than a shoe.
And the cat. The cat of many names. She belongs to The Girl, and The Girl changes her cat’s name from time to time. At the moment the kitty is Lightning. She’s a good cat. The only bad thing I can say about Lightning is that she seems to like Pugs.
We’re not taking the guinea pigs. We sent them to the guinea pig “farm,” where they’ll have lots of guinea pig friends. I drove them to a guinea pig rescue in Charlotte, North Carolina. And paid someone $750 to keep them for a year.
And an extra $250 if they’re no longer entirely alive when we get back? No. No, because that would be wrong. I do not wish the guinea pigs — Google and Pumpkin — dead, because that would be wrong. It’s not their fault they crap their own weight every day.
Anyway, that’s what we’re doing. We’re packing up the two kids, two dogs, and one cat, and moving the whole mess to Italy. And I’m writing about it here.
Who are we? I am Michael Reynolds. I write under the name Michael Grant, but not the Michael Grant who writes about history and religion. I’m the Michael Grant who writes for kids. My wife is Katherine Applegate. She also writes for kids. So we will, absolutely, be plugging books here. And no doubt whining about agents, editors, market conditions and so on. But that’s not the core purpose of this blog. No, the purpose of this blog is to write about the experience of moving to Italy so that every aspect of that move — yes, even the endless cups of espresso — will be tax deductible.
Hah. Joking there, IRS data-mining computer, just joking.
I’ve been blogging for a while in another location, but that was mostly politics. I’m going to cut and paste some Italy-related posts from that blog to this. Then I’ll pick up the narrative in real time. I’m hoping that won’t be too confusing.
I hope this blog will end up being mildly amusing, and even more mildly helpful. The helpful part will only really apply to people who are also planning a move to Italy. The amusing part will come mostly, I suspect, from watching us bankrupt ourselves by simultaneously selling a house in the worst market since Adam sold Eden, and moving to the Euro zone at a point when the dollar is toilet paper.
My one solemn promise to you readers is that no more than half of my blog posts will be written under the influence of single malt Scotch. Because I also enjoy bourbon.